No brokenness I’ve experienced compares to the agony Jesus endured; and His ministering amidst His own pain is a powerful testimony of the exceptional empowerment He has given us to minister during our own trials.
During the most agonizing times in my life, I’ve never considered the possibility that I could help someone else while enduring my own pain. I’ve always been too preoccupied with helping myself survive.
Jesus set the standard for loving sacrifice. The Gospels describe how He was mocked, beaten beyond recognition, stripped, nailed to a cross, and pierced with a spear. He left a blood trail from Pilate’s court to Golgotha. As He hung on the cross, the rough wood tore at the raw, bleeding flesh on his back. His hands and feet screamed with pain as He gasped for each precious breath. His heart was broken to know that an even worse hell awaited Him the moment He drew His last breath because He knew His beloved Father would forsake Him as He bore the sins of the world. Has there ever been greater agony suffered in the history of the world?
Yet—what did HE do amidst His unfathomable pain?
He ministered. He helped those He loved—and He loved those who hated Him. That’s what His sacrifice was all about. Can you even imagine?
For example, the Bible records that—while on the cross—He ensured a disciple would look after His mother. (John 19:26-27) And—when the criminal hanging beside him on the cross asked Him for salvation Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43) Incredible!
Hanging on the cross, Jesus was “marred beyond recognition” (Isaiah 52), yet He recognized the needs of those around Him. In His brokenness, Jesus didn’t lash out, throw a pity party, or call down angels to exact vengeance upon His enemies. He loved. He still does.
How do WE measure up to HIS standard? Do we find ourselves empowered to minister when we’re suffering? This gift comes only from God.
Because Jesus paid the full price for us through His gift of salvation—we also possess the power to love to a degree we can barely comprehend. When we exercise this gift and minister amidst our pain, we experience supernatural love. It is extraordinary love, and the gift of God’s Spirit. This love comes only from knowing God. When we know God, we are a vessel of His ever-flowing fountain of love which flows unimpeded by our earthly pain.
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